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Saturday 15 July 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Economy, National


Cooks Tourism Industry Council yet to submit concerns on the new immigration regulations
Vasie Poila, Acting Director of the Immigration Division, said Mark Franklin's case will eventually be looked at by the division's sole compliance officer.

Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council President Liana Scott says the group is yet to submit objections against the new immigration regulations.

The council had called on its members to voice concerns regarding recently released immigration regulations.

Scott said the feedback she has received from the industry is that different advice is given to different people who visit Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

Earlier this month Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) said that the passing of the Act in 2021 and approval of the Regulations concluded a five-year process of legislative review, development, and enactment which began in 2017 and involved extensive public and private consultations within and beyond the Cook Islands.

Regulations which support the full implementation of the Immigration Act 2021 will affect all current permit holders and new applications for residence, work, investment, study and visit.

Scott said she was yet to complete the document as there was a lot of material to encompass.

“The feedback that I am receiving from industry is that different advice is given to different people that visit Immigration.

“We have not yet submitted our objections to Immigration, although we had at the initial consultancy.”

Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Rebecca Tavioni could not be reached for comment.

However, she has said the chamber has been engaged in consultation with regards to the Immigration Act, when public consultation commenced prior to Covid-19, and the collated business concerns were raised with Parliament.

Following the border reopening, post Covid-19, there had been no further sharing or details of what is being enacted, with the Chamber of Commerce.

Tavioni had said that following the publication of the new requirement on the MFAI website, the chamber, along with members of the public, viewed for the first time, the specifics pertaining to each individual permit, and were currently collating further views from the business community on the implication this could have on the Cooks workforce.

Andrew Whittaker, Edgewater Resort and Club Raro chief executive had earlier said the landscape had changed significantly over the past three years and what was being proposed five years ago needed to be reviewed as it was a “completely new ball game today”.

Prime Minister Mark Brown speaking in Parliament last month had said the new regulations of the Immigration Act 2021 were based on the sentiments of the Cook Islands people on foreign workers at the time.

He said their sentiments on foreign workers was that they needed to make sure they had good, strong regulations in place to control the number of workers and type of people coming to Cook Islands.